Mother Tongue: The Story of the English Language

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Mother Tongue: The Story of the English Language

Mother Tongue: The Story of the English Language

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His discussion of pronunciation and particularly the shifts in vowel sounds was fascinating, For example house was once pronounced hoose. Bryson's concluding chapters explore the origins of proper names, our propensity for wordplay, and the history of what are now considered vulgarities (although I think since Bryson wrote, what was censored in from public media in my youth is becoming more and more common). Bill Bryson's classic Mother Tongue is a highly readable and hilarious tale of how English came to be the world's language. Well, I am glad I stuck to English over Hindi, because this is one crazy nanny - totally idiosyncratic and eccentric, just like me. I like the book, I just didn't appreciate the superior tone of somebody who is, like the rest of us, inclined to slip from time to time.

I'm a longtime fan of Bill Bryson, but I had never read this early nonfiction work of his and was delighted to see that my library had a copy of the audiobook. I think I have read at least two of his works previously and he never disappoints in making me chuckled or even roaring with laughter. With his boundless enthusiasm and restless eye for the absurd, this is his astonishing tour of English. the true story of an American lady, newly arrived in London, who opened her front door to find three burly men on the steps informing her that they were her dustmen. While I found the book informative and mildly amusing, at the end of the day, it's still a book about the history of words.In the next 700 years, its meaning has changed so many times that it is impossible to tell what sense Jane Austen intended when she wrote to a friend: "You scold me so much in a nice long letter which I have received from you. What a hilarious, fascinating, and educational look at our wacky, wonderful, and WAY complicated language.

I think the lesson here is that as a linguist, I should not be reading popular writings about language.

He claims that Irish people pronounce the word “girl” as “gull” (I said “girl” to myself in a variety of Irish accents as I made a cup of tea just now to see if I could figure out where he was coming from, and nope), says that the phonetic rendering of “Taoiseach” in English is “tea-sack”, and more. The Mother Tongue is a 1990 book by Bill Bryson which compiles the history and origins of the English language and its various quirks. Unfortunately it's also a world where the Harry Potter books are "translated" for American readers, lest we be too confused by the lingo: "What's this? Mother Tongue is a series of essays on the origins of human language, with plenty of interesting scientific insights, then to the messy origins of English amid the various waves of invasions of the original Celtic peoples of Britain by Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Normans, Scandinavians (Vikings), and so forth, to its growing status as a global language. Too bad the gems were scarce and some of the reading resembled the back-breaking labor involved in mining.

It's not at all difficult if you bother to learn the rules, which are far simpler than those of English. It made me wonder, though, since English is very much a dynamic language co-created together by the whole world depending on the generation, how much it will change in the next 100 years?In this book, he discusses the history of the English language, but also the history of languages in general, the history of dictionaries, and many of the odd pronunciations and spellings that are so peculiar to English.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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